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Bordeaux bounce into qualifying contention

FC Girondins de Bordeaux have laid down a serious Group A challenge to both Chelsea FC and AS Roma with two successive wins and now face a home game against the London team, who could progress to the last 16 again.

Bordeaux celebrate victory on Matchday 4
Bordeaux celebrate victory on Matchday 4 ©Getty Images

Two straight wins have put FC Girondins de Bordeaux firmly back in the qualifying frame in Group A and revived a UEFA Champions League campaign which had begun on the wrong foot with successive defeats. The French side now take on a Chelsea FC team who slipped to defeat on Matchday 4 and hold only a one-point advantage over both AS Roma and Bordeaux.

• In their most recent fixture Laurent Blanc's team scored early en route to a second victory against CFR 1907 Cluj. Yoann Gourcuff pounced after just six minutes at the CFR Stadium on Matchday 4 and, although Dani swiftly equalised, Wendel's 38th-minute free-kick restored the visitors' advantage. Matthieu Valverde then protected the points with two brilliant second-half saves from Sixto Peralta and Sebastián Dubarbier.

• A victory for the home team would take them above a Chelsea side who inflicted a heavy defeat on their Ligue 1 opponents on Matchday 1. Meanwhile the visitors, in their seventh UEFA Champions League campaign, can maintain their record of always qualifying for the knockout rounds with a victory.

• Bordeaux's previous two home games in the section resulted in a loss and a win. On Matchday 2, with Roma the visitors to the Stade Chaban-Delmas, they had the benefit of another goal from Gourcuff in the 18th minute. Henrique's 36th-minute dismissal turned the tide, however, and with two goals in seven second-half minutes, from Mirko Vučinić and substitute Júlio Baptista, the Italian outfit took control. Substitute Baptista completed the victory with his second goal late on.

• Three weeks later Bordeaux were at home again, this time to CFR when an own goal by visiting captain Cadú nine minutes into the second half settled the issue and enabled the French side to get off the mark at the third time of asking.

• Bordeaux's UEFA Champions League campaign – their third – started with a visit to Chelsea and a 4-0 defeat, the last two goals both scored by Frenchmen. It looked ominous for the away side in the 14th minute when Frank Lampard headed Chelsea in front and it was 2-0 before half-time, Joe Cole finding the net. Inside the last ten minutes it became a rout, Florent Malouda making it three and there was still time for Nicolas Anelka to add a fourth, tapping in after Juliano Belletti's long-range effort had been touched against the crossbar.

• That was the first occasion the teams had met in UEFA club competition. Chelsea's last visit to France resulted in a win – 3-0 at Paris Saint-Germain FC in the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League group stage. Their first two trips to the country had both ended in defeat. A 3-1 loss in the semi-final first leg at AS Monaco FC in 2003/04 effectively cost the London club a place on the grand stage. It left them too much to do in the return and they could do no better than draw 2-2.

• In their first season in the competition, the 1999/00 edition, Chelsea made it to the quarter-finals and in the second group stage they faced Olympique de Marseille, losing 1-0 in the away match but winning the return by the same scoreline.

• Bordeaux have a poor record at home to English teams, losing two and drawing one of the three fixtures in UEFA club competition. They shared a 0-0 draw with Aston Villa FC at the Stade Chaban-Delmas in the 1997/98 UEFA Cup first round, lost 2-1 to Manchester United FC in the second group stage of the 1999/00 UEFA Champions League and 1-0 against Liverpool FC in the 2006/07 group stage. Of seven games against Premier League opposition, home and away, the French side have drawn one and lost six, conceding 13 goals in the process and scoring only one.

• Chelsea followed their win over Bordeaux by drawing 0-0 away to CFR in a game short of goalscoring chances. Then three weeks later, at home to Roma, it seemed they were heading for another stalemate, but John Terry headed the only goal with 13 minutes to go. It was a victory they could not repeat in the away match against Roma which ended 3-1 to the home side, Chelsea's first defeat in eight outings in the competition.

• A first-half goal from former Chelsea player Christian Panucci edged the hosts ahead and with two stunning Mirko Vučinić strikes, Roma established an unassailable lead. Chelsea gained some consolation with Terry's second goal in successive UEFA Champions League games, but Deco's late dismissal capped a disappointing night for the London club.

• As a central defender with Manchester United between 2001 and 2003, Blanc faced Chelsea three times, appearing in both league games in 2001/02 – each away side winning 3-0 – and also playing in a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge in the following campaign.

• Blanc was part of France's victorious squad at UEFA EURO 2000™ along with Chelsea striker Anelka.

• Bordeaux midfielders Alou Diarra and Gourcuff are international team-mates of Anelka and Malouda in the France squad.

• Michael Ballack and Bordeaux defender Diego Placente were team-mates at Bayer 04 Leverkusen between 2001 and 2002.

• CFR and Roma meet in Group A's other Matchday 5 fixture.